I first started development of Zombie Outbreak Simulator for iOS back in mid-2011. At the time I bought an iPhone 4 (released about 6 months earlier), and an iPad 2 (released a couple of months earlier), to use for development and testing. Later during development I bought a second hand iPad 1, and a reconditioned 3rd generation iPod touch (which was basically the same hardware as an iPhone 3GS), to use for more testing.
This meant that with only 4 devices, I had basically every possible combination of hardware which the game could run on (the two older-generation iPhones from 2007 and 2008 were incompatible as they were too slow). When I released the game I could therefore be quite sure that it would work for everyone.
Of course now there are more iOS devices, but it’s still only a handful. There’s only 8 current plus 11 discontinued-but-still-supported iOS devices across the iPhone, iPod, iPad, iPad mini and iPad Pro.
In contrast there are literally thousands of different Android devices out there. When I first started beta testing ZOS on Android in mid 2014, there were over 4000 Android devices compatible with ZOS.
Recently I noticed that there are now over 10,000 devices compatible with ZOS!
So what does this mean? It means that although I’ve developed and tested ZOS for Android on a bunch of different devices, it’s impossible for me to test on all of them. And that inevitably means there’ll be bugs :( Usually obscure ones which only show up on a handful of devices.
For example, recently some people were reporting a crash on startup. This seemed to be happening on the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua consistently, but also on a few other devices.
Many thanks to Darren who was able to help me out by connecting his phone to a computer to get the log messages from the crash. I was able to track down the problem to an obscure bug in Android which only occurs in this situation:
- On Android 5.0 (Lollipop), and
- With a 64 bit CPU, and
- When using SQLite (a database library I’m using), and
- When storing the database outside the app folder
Google fixed this bug in Android 5.1 (Lollipop MR1), but that didn’t help anyone still on 5.0.
Luckily there was a workaround I could use to avoid the problem, and I released an update a few weeks ago which seems to have fixed the crashes for people.
Now it seems a new bug has surfaced – a few people have reported that the online and player maps just stay grey without ever loading any of the map images. So this is my next challenge to try to figure out :)
If you’re having any issues with ZOS on Android, get in contact and I’ll see what I can do to help.